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MLB Playoffs Photos: Three Impacts of Baseball's New 12-Team Postseason Format

With less than a week left in the 2022 MLB regular season, the postseason begins next Friday with a best-of-three wild card series. Baseball has a new 12-team postseason format, and whether that improves the product remains to be seen. I was skeptical about the wildcard game at first, but I quickly fell in love with it. The same thing might happen with a 12-team system.

In any case, five of the six division titles are confirmed, with only NL East still undecided. We know who his three wild card teams in the American League will be, but five of the six wild card spots are also achievable.No, because it takes less than a week to play that There are many around the league.

For posterity’s sake, here’s what the postseason bracket would look like if the season ended on Thursday, which of course doesn’t.

american league

national league

Click here for the 2022 postseason scheduleIt’s a little weird (not the usual 2-2-1 LDS and 2-3-2 LCS format, with off days scattered around each series), but it works just as well. How will the new 12-team format affect postseason racing? There are a few ways. Let’s break them down.

1. No. 6 may be preferable to No. 5

Teams will not be reseeded after the Wild Card Series. The No. 3 vs. No. 6 Wild Card Series winner will play his No. 2 seed in the LDS no matter what, and the No. 4 vs. No. 5 Wild Card Series winner will play him No. His one seed in the LDS no matter what. In LDS, the team with the league’s best record faces the wildcard team instead of the division winner.

Sounds great in theory, but in practice it doesn’t always work. Some wildcard teams outperform some division-winning teams season after season, and his NL East this year is a prime example. The NL East runner-up has a much better record and run difference than the NL Central winner. So the 6th seed may be preferable to the 5th seed.

Use your current standings to consider your chances in the National League.

5th Seed: They will face the No. 4 seed in the Wild Card Series (Braves) and, if they win, the No. 1 seed in the NLDS (Dodgers).

6th Seed: They will face the 3rd seed in the wild card series (Cardinals), and if they win, they will face the 2nd seed in the NLDS (Mets).

In honor of St. Louis, I’d rather have the 6th seed than the 5th seed.No need to go through the Braves When 1 postseason Dodgers. Fully aware that any team can beat the other on any given night (or any given series) in this game, and that he will be playing against a good team in October no matter what. But well, that 5th seed is a tough draw.

There is a flip side to this as well. The Dodgers could face the 100-win Braves team in his NLDS, and the Mets could face the Cardinals or his under-90 wild card team. Why does the Dodgers, owners of baseball’s best record and historically good scoring margin, have a tougher road to his NLCS than the No. 2 seed?

Using the current standings, here are the wildcard possibilities in the American League:

5th Seed: They will face the 4th seed (Blue Jays) in the Wild Card Series, and if they win, they will face the 1st seed (Astros) in the ALDS.

6th Seed: They will face the No. 3 seed in the Wild Card Series (Guardians) and, if they win, the No. 2 seed (Yankees in the ALDS).

The AL isn’t quite as clear cut as the NL, especially given how Cleveland and the Yankees have played this month, but you could buy the 6th seed, which is preferable to the AL’s 5th seed. At the very least, you should think about it. It’s not clear that a higher seed is desirable. That’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it? The postseason format should incentivize teams to finish with the best record possible, but that’s not really the case for the 5th and 6th seeds this year.

It should be noted that we cannot lose a game to ensure we are the 6th seed instead of the 5th seed. Wildcard races are too close to lose strategically. Additionally, players are not wired this way. They take the field every night to win. They don’t care if the match on paper is good. Fans may be, but that’s not how players think. Still, the sixth seed looks promising this year. The No. 5 seed has a tougher road ahead.

2. Lack of Attractive Race

This is a fair question. Will the postseason races be more exciting with the old 10-team format? I think the answer is yes. Here’s what his bracket looks like for the 10-team postseason, using the current standings.

american league

  • Wildcard game: 5th raise to 4th Blue Jays
  • ALDS: 1st Place Astros Win Wild Card Game
  • ALDS: #2 Yankees #3 Guardians

national league

  • Wildcard game: No. 4 Braves to No. 5 Padres
  • NLDS: Wild Card Game Winner with No. 1 Dodgers
  • NLDS: 3rd Cardinals of 2nd Mets

In the AL, three teams (Blue Jays, Mariners and Rays) will compete for two wildcard spots in the old ten-team format. Instead, three teams will be locked into his three wildcard spots, just vying for the seed. That’s not very exciting, is it?

In the NL, the NL East runners-up are locked in for the top wildcard spot, with three teams (the Brewers, Padres and Phillies) competing for the remaining two wildcard spots. The old postseason format would have three teams competing. 1 Wildcard spot. I think we can all agree that it would be much more compelling.

Postseason races vary from season to season, and next year could be even more exciting with an open field, but Year 1 of the 12-team format resulted in a misfired race outside of NL East (post Races that exist regardless of season format) ) and 2nd and 3rd NL Wildcard spots. “More teams racing” doesn’t automatically mean better racing.

Also, keep in mind that MLB will likely push for a 14-team postseason format after 2026, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires. The league wanted a 14-team format this time around, but the MLBPA resisted, citing concerns about watering down the competition. 500 and below would have advanced to the postseason in a 14-team format..

A 14-team format would have made the 2022 race even less appealing. Because the Brewers and Orioles are the first two teams to watch outside of the postseason, far ahead of the next best teams (Giants and White Sox, respectively). And there is no competition for wildcard spots. The Brewers and Orioles will participate, and the wildcard race is seeded only.

3. The Importance of Tiebreakers

MLB and MLBPA have agreed to do away with ties in Game 163 as part of a new collective bargaining agreement, but my fans have found that very lame. There are 163 classic games (Bucky Bullipin Dent’s home run in 1978, the Twins vs. Tigers overtime upset in 2009, etc.) and all ties are resolved mathematically. bored!

There is a tie breaker here. Tie-break scenarios are sketched and ready in MLB, but 3-team and 4-team ties are a bit of a hassle.

  1. PvP record.
  2. Record within the department.
  3. A record against an out-of-division team within the same league.
  4. A record of the last 81 matches against league opponents.
  5. A recent record of 81 games against league opponents, plus one to tie.

For clarity, all ties are broken mathematically. If one team makes it to the postseason and the other does not, it will still be a tie. MLB used the same tiebreaker formula in 2020, robbing the Giants of a postseason spot. The Brewers and Giants both went 29-31, but the Brewers had a better record in the division (19-21 vs. 18-22), giving Milwaukee the 8th seed and San Francisco home. (two teams did not play). There was no head-to-head record that year).

Needless to say, holding the tiebreaker has become much more important than in the past when it could only determine home field advantage. In the event of a tie, they always had a chance to play the season, even if they had to go on the road. No longer. Better keep the tiebreaker in this new format. May decide your season.

In the American League, this year’s tiebreak is less important. Because we know who the six postseason teams will be, and the three divisional titles have already been decided. The tiebreaker can be used to determine which team is the 4th seed and which team is the 5th seed, or which team is the 5th seed and which team is the 6th seed, but that’s it . Tiebreakers are relatively low stakes on the junior circuit.

But in NL, tie breaking can be very important. The Braves and Mets are battling for the division title, and if they finish with the same record, a tiebreaker will determine the division winner. This means that one team must earn a Wild Card Series bye and the other team must play in the Best of 3 Wild Card Series. This is a big difference that will change the odds of the World Series!

The Mets are currently trailing the Braves in the series 9-7 on the season, but the two teams will start a three-game series on Friday to give Atlanta a chance to win back. The Braves need a sweep to win the season series. Of course, sweeping will make it less likely that you’ll win two games up the division and return to the tiebreaker. Still, having a tiebreaker is better than not having one.

Tiebreakers may also appear in Wildcard races. The NL East runner-up is locked in at the 4th seed, but the 5th and 6th seeds have a chance. Holding these tiebreakers are (these are final):

versus mill



against PHI



Against SD



The Brewers are in a tough spot despite being just half a game behind the Phillies for the third wild card spot. They haven’t held a tiebreaker against the Padres or the Phillies, so a half-game deficit effectively becomes a 1 and 1/2 game deficit. A tie does nothing for Milwaukee. To enter the postseason, they must finish with a better record than the Padres or Phillies.

The Phillies can sleep a little easier knowing they won the Brewers-Padres tiebreaker. All they have to do is finish with the same record as one of those teams to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2011. The Padres are holding a tiebreaker against the Brewers. Milwaukee looks from the outside, so that’s important.

It’s an outright NL East title, with a tiebreaker determining the eventual NL wildcard spot this year. Previously, the Braves and Mets decided the division in Game 163, and the two teams competing for the 6th seed also played Game 163 to determine who advanced to the postseason and who returned home. Well, it comes down to math.